The following article is just my gut reaction to the news today that Weapons of Mass Destruction have been regularly found in Iraq and military personnel have even been injured by them. I say gut reaction as this is just my immediate response from thought to type. I chose to preserve it that way as this reaction stems from the same place of the soul that reacts when you are awoken at 0300 for a formation at 0600 to complete at task that doesn’t start until 0900. Everyone knows why we went to war in Iraq right? The points made so clear by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Colin Powell were that Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we must save the world from them. So we blitz through Iraq in less than a month, only to find out that there were indeed no WMDs, that is until now when we find out that they were all along, and in fact 11 years later, still there. WMDs found in Iraq. Now I’m all confused.
The New York Times reported in a story breaking today that our troops have been finding chemical weapons as early as 2004. The first incident they quoted in the story was a 2008 event where troops were exposed to Mustard Gas while disposing of ordinance. Aha you say! Barrack Obama was elected in 2008 so this must have been a conspiracy to discredit George W. Well, he didn’t take office until 2009 people, but just you wait, some ultra conservative website will pick this up and play that angle. I’m calling it here now on Unprecedented Mediocrity.
However, the truth seems to be that many of these weapons were being discovered during his Presidency to which I reply, what the hell. Quick open letter to Former President Bush here: President Bush, you spent the bulk of your last term in office getting hammered on the lack of WMDs in Iraq. So what exactly were you doing keeping these discoveries a secret. I know it wasn’t the mobile labs you were hoping for, but just like when I tell my daughter to be grateful for 2 cookies instead of the whole pack, you take what you can get.
Now if it turns out these discoveries were kept from you, please provide a list of those who hid them to those of us who supported you so that we might all line up and take turns offering a throat punch to these individuals as trust me, Bush supporters took a lot of crap over the years on these lack of WMDs. End of Open letter.
Well, good thing we at least discovered them despite the missed political opportunity. I mean after spending a decade there, I am sure we can at least rest assured that we took the time to destroy them all while we were there and all. Except we didn’t and many are still there according to the story.
How exactly can this be? So we went to war to destroy weapons that turned out not to be there, until we find out they were there are along, only to still be there 11 years later. I get how the insurgency kicked up steam in Iraq and we became a little pre-occupied with fighting and what not, but we all know that much of war is sitting around waiting.
But you see the picture above? That’s me in Iraq in 2003. I wasn’t doing anything particularly important that day. Not that I am a weapons inspector, but I’m guessing over 10 years, you could have put together enough working parties to do a little something. Surely, you could have just said, “Listen up Devil Dogs, I need a 10 man working party to go mop up some Mustard Gas.” And if you promise us Jalapeno Cheese, we probably do it. It blows my mind that there is even a teaspoon of this stuff left.
Ok then fine. You missed the political opportunity and you didn’t take care of it while you were there, but at least you left Iraq in stable hands and the stuff is properly secured. Surely there is no way that extremist can get their hands on this stuff right? Hello ISIS. Look, you can have our Tanks we have gave Iraq, you can have our Humvees, but don’t dare put your hands on our WMDs. We called those first.
I don’t need to update you on the news. ISIS is running all over our ex-girlfriend Iraq. What is even more disturbing to note is that this New York Times report reflects accounts of ISIS looting compounds said to contain such chemical agents. I honestly don’t know what to say and I think my sentiments reflect a great deal of the Veteran community when we all respond with a collective, What the Hell?
In conclusion, it’s hard enough for us Veterans to sit here and watch Iraq unfold into the mess it has become. It is equally hard to watch some Veterans fail to get the quality care they need upon return. So when it turns out that we are doubling down on said failures by failing to take care of the original reason we went to war in the first place, it confuses me beyond measure.
Join the call for commonsense response by signing up to receive Unprecedented Mediocrity directly by email or like the Facebook Page Unprecedented Mediocrity.